MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Saturday logged another record number of new infections with 9,595 additional cases, and active infections breaching the 118,000-mark.
The day's new COVID-19 cases, the second highest announced by the Department of Health (DOH) since the pandemic hit the country over a year ago, pushed the country's cumulative tally to 712,442.
This is also the 3rd straight day that the day's fresh cases exceeded 8,000, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed.
Active infections reached 118,122, as some hospitals in the capital region and nearby areas declared high to critical risk utilization rate in their COVID-19 dedicated beds and intensive care units.
The ABS-CBN Data Analytics team said the remaining active infections continued to be a record-high for the 5th straight day.
COVID-19-related fatalities meanwhile increased to 13,159 after 10 more deaths were recorded.
The health department also logged 481 new recoveries, bringing the total number of individuals who recuperated from the disease to 581,161.
Out of 34,101 people who underwent testing for COVID-19, some 16.2 were found positive for it.
Eleven laboratories failed to submit results on time.
Some 9 duplicates, 5 of which were recoveries, have been excluded from the country's cumulative tally. A total of 4 cases initially tagged as recoveries also turned out as fatalities after the agency's final validation.
WATCH: 'NCR Plus' bubble isasailalim sa ECQ mula Marso 29 hanggang Abril 4
DOH's most recent bulletin showed that out of the over 700 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in Metro Manila, some 73 percent were already occupied.
On the other hand, some 67 percent of the 3,800 isolation beds in NCR were already filled up, according to the update.
Metro Manila is still the virus epicenter with more than half or 5,204 of Saturday's new cases originating from the region, the ABS-CBN Data Analytics team said. This is also the 2nd straight day that additional cases from the region exceeded 5,000.
It was followed by Calabarzon with 1,579 fresh infections. It is the region's second highest daily rise so far according to Edson Guido of ABS-CBN Data Analytics.
Quezon City, meanwhile, topped the areas in the country anew in terms of newly-reported cases with 951. The city was followed by Manila (824), Rizal (535), Marikina (503), Bulacan (500), and Cavite (453).
NCR PLUS PLACED UNDER ECQ
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday approved the recommendation of the government's pandemic task force placing areas in the NCR Plus bubble — Metro Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal — under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting Monday up to Easter Sunday to arrest the virus spread.
The President also wanted to ramp up contact tracing efforts and mass testing to identify the scope of the people infected with the virus, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Curfew will also start from 6 p.m. up to 5 a.m. in the affected areas.
The decision came as analysts earlier in the day called for a two-week modified enhanced community quarantine to arrest the virus spread, most of which were recorded in Metro Manila, home to a tenth of the country's population.
The OCTA Research group, an independent research unit providing timely updates on the country's COVID-19 situation, early Saturday projected that fresh cases could reach up to 13,000 by April.
Coronavirus cases globally reached 126.2 million as of this story's posting, based on the data of US-based Johns Hopkins University.
Some 2.7 million have died while over 71.5 million have recovered, the running tally showed.